2.7: Lysergic Adam: The Conectome Math, Cuckoo Caper
In the middle of Strip Mall Mile in the Copper Sphere, Ked Reflectox and his wife Kind worked flawlessly in sync to herd their children toward the order window. Ked fixed his evil eye upon each child in turn. First Cera, then Drawd with her frills and whispers, then a horrible scowl at the twins, who required but scant seconds unsupervised to descend into anarchy.
Vex Reflectox and Vim Reflectox pressed themselves against the Dino Glass. The various thin sliced meats tempted them beyond measure. Both of their noses were upturned like the snouts of pigs. If you were in the sliced meats position you would see the same face, twice presenting itself in a masque of hopeful starvation.
“You boys look hungry. It would be wrong for me not to direct you to the tent just there.”
The twins turned to look at Syrge, and then turned as one to face the direction he was pointing. It was colorful and inviting with comets and nebulae in all directions. The twins began to pull on their parents and siblings. The family slowly entered the tent, thought Syrge, just like a satellite slowly losing it’s orbit to burn up in the atmosphere of a massive planet.
Inside the tent, several dozen people were milling around and eating from tables set along the back and right side. A small stage at the front was empty except for a sign hanging slightly crooked on the tent wall, “Death is a door… INTO THE MASSIVE.”
Many people were putting answers to questions down on plastic forms that were lying around. The reactive paper turned people’s clumsy finger movements into neat script. Syrge could not believe that so many people were still willing to give information to strangers. Even low-level criminals could afford simple correlational software that could divine passwords from a few simple revelations about a person. The questionnaires that Syrge and Scroot had created, along with Scroot’s custom divination software could take these answers and get everything there was to know about these individuals. If they wanted to, Syrge and Scroot could take this group for everything they owned. But that was not Syrge’s plan.
After most of the people were seated, Adam made his way behind the stage and found Scroot sitting on a plastic chair and drooling while his waldos flew furiously over his interface.
“Time to start the show my friend.”
Behind them in the main tent, a set of hologram projectors brought the image of a man to life on stage. It was a good quality hologram, but still discernable to anyone as a hologram. It wasn’t like the rich peoples’ disguise screens, but nice to look at, and no one had to wonder if it was a real man or a fake, because it was obvious. This hologram wore a slightly too fancy ring suit and had red and gold hair swept up to a point like was fashionable among the news personalities.
“Welcome! One and all to the worlds of wonder that lie beyond the dimensions that we are witness to! The good news today is that you are about to be made privy to the hidden REAL world behind this flimsy sheet that we call reality!”
There was some slight scattered applause.
“My friends! The scientific minds of today have built upon the backs of millennia of giants to reveal to us, the hidden nature of the world! For as long as man has looked to the stars, man has dreamed of what lies beyond the ultimate mystery of death! For eons, men thought they had souls that outlived their bodies, and traveled to fabulous kingdoms upon the death of our gross material. Then science found that consciousness lived in the brain, and the soul was discovered to be a made up thing! All the world grew despondent! Depression! War! Torture! These were the marks of the era! A blanket of despair settled over the civilizations of Earth and Space!”
The speaker let his words settle for a moment. People were curious. His voice dropped to a magnified whisper.
“Now, thanks to N-String theory, we have discovered the existence of THE MASSIVE!” His voice boomed out the two words causing the audience to sit up straight as one.
“You see, folks, once you get through all the maths and physics, what it all boils down to is that what we experience as reality is but a flimsy wispy membrane flaking away from THE MASSIVE! Let me explain! Reality is full! Not just in the three dimensions we know, but also in time! And in over thirty other dimensions as well! It’s super voluminous and super dense! And what our senses tell us is that there is a bunch of empty space, but that is not the case! We are just so small and thin and inconsequential that we are completely unaware of where we really are! You know the joke right? Two young fish are swimming along having a great time. An old fish swims by and says to them, ‘How’s the water kids?’ and the kids reply, ‘What’s water?’ and the old fish laughs and laughs!
“People. We are so mired and mixed in with the universe that we can’t even conceive of what it is. Except… now we can. Do this for me: Picture a large cube of gelatin, let’s color it green for our thought experiment. Now imagine that it is perfect and unbroken. There are no flaws. It is as clear as nothing, but green see? Do you see it in your mind? I see some of you programming the image in your brains… good, good, we’ll give you a second! Ain’t technology wonderful folks? Did you know people on the autism spectrum used to have to go through life without mental pictures to help them relate to the world? Not any more! Mannooway! I love science! So anyway… On this cube of gelatin, imagine you are a little ant. Crawling through the cube, leaving a little ant tunnel.”
Scroot was looking sideways at Syrge. Syrge rolled his eyes, “What? Of course I don’t believe this crap. I just made it up. If I was going to start a real religion, I’d base it on something stronger than the extra dimensions on N-String Theory being emotions. Manoway Scroot, you should know me better than that. It’s a simple metaphysics for simple people and a simple scam. Or maybe it’s unnecessarily complex. Either way. Diverting.” The holographic preacher continued on, uninterrupted.
“The ant is you as we see ourselves, The tunnel you leave is a more accurate representation of what you would look like if you could see yourself from THE MASSIVE’S vantage point, outside of time. You are not this small body, but a long and swirling creature looping around back on itself and climbing and falling and spiraling up and down, zig zagging hither and thither! This tunnel is you, not the ant! Now, that really only gives you a picture of what you look like from outside of time, the fourth dimension! There are many others that expand you just as much as time does! Now… here’s something you may not have heard! The only way we can experience these dimensions, and you can bet there’s some controversy in the science wheel over this interpretation, is with our emotions! Let me repeat that people! These dimension intersect our world by manifesting as emotions within our mind spaces! One dimension is fear, one is love, one is anger and so on! Our access to the real world’s vastness is through our emotions.
“The maths based on this theory have shown us something amazing my friends! Consciousness is not housed in the brain! Again: CONSCIOUSNESS IS NOT HOUSED IN THE BRAIN! The brain is the side effect of our living in these thirty odd dimensions! Consciousness made the brain, not the other way around. You live in THE MASSIVE, indeed, you are OF THE MASSIVE, even if the brain does house your consciousness, think of how much bigger your brain is than we used to think! Go back to your ant trail! What is bigger, the ant or the trail? Imagine the trail left by just the ant’s brain, it is almost as big at the entire trail the ant left! Now imagine all the connections from the brain to the emotion dimensions! Can you do it? See the trail running through the gelatin, now imagine that at every point along that long trail, thirty or so equally long tendrils shooting out of the brain in every possible direction! How much more massive did you just become?! Do you look more like an ant now? Or a GOD?!”
Some in the audience looked interested, but a few were becoming bored. Syrge checked on Scroot’s progress, nearly complete. He poked his head through the tent and spied on the family that Scroot seemed to be narrowing down to. It was the one with the twins. They all had the level of tech necessary already installed, except the baby. And she wouldn’t matter. Next to him, the hologram continued.
“So… I promised you answers to the question of death. People. We are creatures of THE MASSIVE. These bodies eventually make a tunnel as long as they are going to make. We call this death, but the tunnel doesn’t go away. THE MASSIVE is eternal and the tunnels we dig in it are eternal also. Once our life, that is, the actual digging of the tunnel is over, we spend eternity traveling through our tunnels! We can relive each moment of our lives as often as we want! We can live in joy or fear or ecstasy or righteous rage! We can travel in our thoughts and dreams! To some this sounds amazing! To others it probably sounds like hell! It all depends on what kind of tunnel you dug! If you lived like a being of power and eternity, then eternity will be a welcome state! IF you live as a victim or a low crawling thing, then you are doomed to relive the hell you made of your life! The great news for you people here is that now that you know, you can make sure to live your life, to dig your tunnel in THE MASSIVE, the way you want to spend eternity! This IS the way the world works people! Don’t despair! Unless that’s what you want to do ALWAYS AND FOREVER!”
Scroot’s program finished. The Reflectox family was selected, and their passwords and codes were allowing Scroot and Syrge access to all of their brain implants. All those kids, neighbors wouldn’t notice a couple more.
The holographic man was replaced by a floating and slowly rotating 3D Net Code where people could donate money. It was of course attached to one of Adam’s temporary accounts.
As people filed out of the tent, Syrge and Scroot merged into the large group of Reflectox offspring. Syrge walked up and took his new mother’s hand. She smiled down at him. He was such a thoughtful son. They had really done something right with this one.
“Are we going home now?” he asked.
“What do you think honey?” she asked Ked.
He stretched and rolled his shoulders around lazily for a moment.
“Yeah… we probably should be heading back. Did you kids have a good day?”
The twins yelled, “No!” Everyone else seemed to be pretty content.
They started for the mag station.
“You kids don’t take that stuff from the tent too seriously okay? New religions always try to tie it into science these days. It’s probably a bunch of grint.”
Kind rubbed his neck with her other hand as she walked along with Syrge in tow.
“I sort of liked it, it made sense and it’s a nice way to look at the world.”
Ked made a snorting sound, but he was smiling.
That night, Syrge and Scroot were tucked in and kissed goodnight with the other six kids, warm and cozy and safe and hidden. Techno cuckoos in the nest.